Bolsonaro camp pushes hard for Russian vaccine, despite lack of data

The Brazilian government routinely overlooked the Sputnik V vaccine, but after a recent phone call to Vladimir Putin, President Bolsonaro is keen to push through regulatory approval

Vaccine diplomacy: Sputnik V shipment arriving in Palestina. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Shutterstock
Vaccine diplomacy: Sputnik V shipment arriving in Palestine. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Shutterstock

Cities around Brazil have warned the Health Ministry about impending Covid-19 vaccine shortages. In the capital Brasília, for instance, the local immunization campaign has stopped dead. Realizing that his popularity is at stake, President Jair Bolsonaro has finally decided to act, unexpectedly pushing for vaccines from Russia, which have yet to obtain approval from Brazilian regulators.

As things stand, a little over 20 million Brazilian residents have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine — 9.4 percent of the total population. However, just 5.5 percent have received the two necessary shots.

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